Our connections are often dictated by chance based on the locale where we live and work. Is that true of you, too? Take a moment and reflect – who are the five most influential people in your life right now? If you want to accelerate your personal and business growth, it’s vital to purposefully grow beyond your natural environment and start connecting with like-minded peers who “get you” and can encourage you to do your best work.
The benefits of networking cannot be ignored. However, networking can be stressful especially if you’re an introvert or you’re shy, because it involves putting yourself out there, exposing your vulnerabilities and building new connections. And frankly it often requires going outside your comfort zone and even traveling somewhere new! But it’s worth the time and effort if you do it with authenticity and wholeheartedness.
Here are a few life-altering benefits of networking and connecting with like-minded people…
It builds relationships. Connecting is all about giving first and receiving afterward. You can’t go in with the idea of “How can they promote me.” Nor can you be so proud that you won’t ask for or accept help when it’s offered. View it as building relationships of reciprocity that helps each party.
It stimulates creativity. Innovation and creativity are essential for success in today’s world. Nothing is really new, but things can be improved if you bounce ideas off of one another and use that synergy to spark new ideas.
It raises your profile. Networking in-person or online let’s you connect with the influential people you admire in your industry. Never before have they been so accessible. Remember that “like-minded” means you understand each other and have similar tastes and opinions. So don’t rush your conversations or feel attached to any particular outcome. Show interest, ask a lot of questions, respectfully share your perspective and see where it leads you. Who knows…it may lead to your “big break.” At the very least you may receive some wonderful referrals and opportunities.
It shortens your learning curve. People who have traveled the path that you want to travel can alert you to the pitfalls and help you see what works and what doesn’t. Tapping into their knowledge bank is invaluable. You get the opportunity to discuss common challenges and how they’ve handled them. Simply asking questions and listening opens the door to valuable suggestions and guidance. Learning from someone who’s “been there and done that” saves you a tremendous amount of time and money.
To illustrate the importance of connecting with like-minded peers, we’d like to share the true story of Anna (name changed to protect privacy). Recently her company did some internal reorganization, so ambitious, 34-year-old Anna was promoted to a new position: health coach. Although, she was thrilled she was also secretly self-conscious and hesitant, because she had no formal training.
Yes, she read a lot about leadership principles and she even attended a few in-house trainings. But they weren’t nearly enough to boost her confidence. She wanted and needed more.
When she inquired about our Certified Life Coach and NLP Practitioner Training course, she had two requests:
- Is there a community of like-minded people, coaches and other professionals with whom I can learn and grow?
- Can I learn and practice new skills in a relaxed, concrete and systematic way?
We were thrilled to fulfill those requests and welcomed her into our community of like-minded peers. We could see her confidence growing exponentially each time she raised her hand and volunteered for a demo. The best way to truly embody something is to make it part of your body experience.
The opportunity to learn and practice new skills while surrounded by friendly faces solidified Anna’s knowledge. Since then, she’s taken a few advanced courses to continue her personal and professional development and continues to thrive professionally and personally. We’re happy to be part of her success.
Would you, too, like to learn mindfulness-based leadership skills within a community of like-minded professionals who support you in a relaxed and systematic way? Register for our next class: Foundations of Life Coaching & NLP. It provides a solid basis of training, plus a community of like-minded professionals you’ll be proud to add to your circle of connections. In fact, you can begin interacting with this new community right now via our Private Facebook IPL Coaching group…